By Brian Penso
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Graduate student Emilie Scribot hits a forehand shot yesterday against ASU. The Wildcats were on the verge of an upset when the match was called.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday February 27, 2003
When the Wildcats awoke yesterday morning, their hopes of taking on instate rival Arizona State seemed bleak due to rain.
As the day progressed, the weather improved and by 1 p.m. the tennis match began right on schedule.
Constant rain showers and numerous delays caused the match to go well into the evening and eventually it was postponed.
"When they recruited me they told me that it is always sunny in Arizona," sophomore Maja Mlakar said.
Before the final rain delay, the 24th-ranked Wildcats were up 2-1 over eighth-ranked ASU and they were up one set in two matches and close in another.
Under the rules of NCAA team tennis, each singles match victory earns the team a point and the first to four wins the match.
Under NCAA guidelines, a match can be continued, but if it is not finished within 48 hours, the guidelines require that the teams reschedule and begin the match at 0-0.
This is where the strategic aspect of tennis coaching comes into play.
The Wildcats were scheduled to leave this morning at 8 a.m. for their road trip to Baylor.
UA head coach Vicky Maes was willing to reschedule Arizona's weekend road trip in order to finish the match this afternoon.
However, that was not a feasible option for ASU head coach Sheila McInerney.
McInerney told Maes that the Sun Devil players couldn't afford to miss class in order to finish the match.
McInerney also felt that Arizona should not have to reschedule its road trip in order to finish the match, when both teams could play at a later date.
Maes said that she thinks McInerney wasn't very receptive to the idea of playing the match today since the Sun Devils were facing its second loss of the season.
"It's obvious ASU didn't want to come back and play," Maes said. "I was willing to change our trip so we could play."
Maes filed a complaint with the head official, but she was unsure about the process that lies ahead once Pacific-10 Conference officials have heard the complaint.
The match has not been officially rescheduled, but it is a tough break for the Wildcats, who had lost three consecutive matches.
"This is part of tennis," junior Debbie Larocque said. "We have just been a little unlucky lately. If we were losing they may have wanted to play."
Arizona came into the season looking to make a statement in the Pac-10, but early season losses to
second-ranked Southern California, No. 8 UCLA, and No. 37 Oregon haven't helped their cause.
A win over No. 8 ASU would give them the confidence that they can play with any team in the country and it would have given them a boost heading into their upcoming non-conference road trip to Baylor and Texas Christian.
"We have shown all along that we can play with anyone," Maes said. "We had a few tough losses, but I know that we are a good team. There is nothing we can do about the weather, but we feel good about the way we played."